What is Jamestown Canyon virus?
Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) is a rare viral
infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes.
How does someone get JCV?
JCV is caused by an arbovirus and is
transmitted to people by mosquitoes. If a
mosquito bites an animal that is infected with
JCV, the mosquito can then transmit it to a
person by biting them. JCV is found
throughout temperate North America and it
circulates primarily in the deer and mosquito
How common is JCV?
Since 2000, more than 50 cases of JCV have
been identified nationally. The cases have
primarily been in the Midwest and Northeast.
When was JCV discovered?
JCV infections were initially described in the
early 1970s as causing a mild illness with
fever. JCV infections can occur anywhere
from May through the end of summer.
Who is most at risk of JCV?
Anyone who lives in the affected areas and
gets a mosquito bite can potentially be
exposed to Jamestown Canyon virus, but the
risk of infection and the risk of serious illness
is considered low risk.
What are the symptoms of JCV?
Symptoms can include fever, muscle aches,
fatigue, dizziness, headache and in severe
cases the virus infects the central nervous
system and can cause brain inflammation
(encephalitis) and inflammation of the
membranes surrounding the brain and spinal
How long does it take the symptoms to
Since there have been so few documented
cases it is not known how long it takes for
symptoms to develop.
How is JCV diagnosed?
Laboratory testing is required to determine if
someone is infected with JCV since the
symptoms are so similar to many other
illnesses. If someone is suspected of having
JCV, samples will be collected and sent by
the NH Department of Health and Human
Services to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) for testing.
What is the treatment for JCV?
Currently there is no specific treatment for
JCV, but patients are given supportive care,
such as hydration, depending on their
Is there a vaccine available?
There is no vaccine available for Jamestown
What should people do to protect
against this virus?
The most effective way to prevent JCV
infection is to avoid being bitten by
mosquitoes. Repellents are the best tool in
preventing mosquito-borne illnesses. When
outdoors and mosquitoes are biting, it is
important to use a repellent that contains 30%
DEET or permethrin. Repellents that contain
Picaridin, para-menthan-diol, or oil of lemon
eucalyptus have also been determined to be
effective. Wear long pants and long-sleeved
shirts when possible to prevent mosquito
For specific concerns or questions about
Jamestown Canyon virus, call the NH
Department of Health and Human Services
at 603-271-4496. For further information,
refer to the Centers for Disease Control